Pregnancy is an exciting time for women. Your body will go through lots of changes in order for your growing baby to thrive. Some of these changes might be uncomfortable and could lead to insomnia or other sleep issues. If you are having difficulty sleeping here are some tips to help you rest easier so you have the energy you need when your baby arrives.
“Pregnant Mother Resting” by Victor Habbick image credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine
Use a Pregnancy Pillow to Help You Sleep on Your Left Side
Doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep on their left side. This position takes pressure off of her liver and provides more blood flow for her baby. During your second or third trimester you may feel uncomfortable sleeping on your left side. If that is the case you can purchase a pregnancy pillow at maternity stores, online or any major department store. These pillows are designed to wrap around your growing belly and provide the support you will need to be comfortable resting on your left side.
Exercise During the Day but Don’t Overdo it
Exercise is healthy for everyone especially during pregnancy. But before you start a regular fitness routine, make sure you discuss it with your doctor. Doing yoga is another great way to relax and help your body unwind for a better night’s sleep. There are several yoga and fitness DVDs that are safe for pregnant women. You can purchase exercise DVDs at your local department store or online. If you are planning on exercising regularly make sure your routine ends at least four hours before bed. Physical fitness releases endorphins which may make it harder for you to settle down for the night. Don’t over exert yourself. Pregnant women should not lift anything heavier than 30 lbs or it may induce early labor or lead to other complications. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor first before exercising during your pregnancy.
Limit Your Beverages in the Evening
It is important for pregnant women to drink plenty of fluids during the day, however due to your high progesterone level and your growing uterus pushing on your bladder this may lead to several bathroom trips. To avoid waking in the middle of the night to relieve yourself, cut down on your fluid intake two hours before bed. Also make sure you empty your bladder before you lay down at night.
Sit up After Eating to Avoid Heartburn in the Middle of the Night
Heartburn is a very common occurrence during pregnancy. This is caused by your growing uterus pressing on your stomach which forces the acid into your esophagus. To help ease heartburn during the night sit upright for at least an hour after eating. Do not eat right before you go to bed. If your heartburn still keeps you up at night it is safe for pregnant women to take Mylanta or Tums. Propping yourself up with pillows in your bed will also help ease heartburn overnight.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have tried any or all of the above and are still having difficulty getting a full night’s sleep discuss all your issues with your doctor. He or she may have a better solution for your individual needs.
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